Zion Guitar Technology - show me what you got!

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by guitardude5, Jun 23, 2006.

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  1. Big0range

    Big0range Member

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    I'm looking at used Zion guitars - is there a way to tell the Radicaster from the E-Series at a glance?
     
  2. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Supporting Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, there are two differences that can be spotted at a glance. A Radicaster has a Wilkinson VS100 trem (2 point) and the trussrod adjustment is at the angled headstock with a mother of pearl cover. It also has a locking Neutrik output jack and has options available - pickguard or rear route, custom colors, fingerboard materials, etc.
    [​IMG]
    An E series has a Wilkinson VSVG trem (6 screw), no angled headstock, and the trussrod adjustment is at the neck heal. They are also limited to no options on the guitar. It's a great instrument at a great price.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    That's not really entirely true, because the angled headstock is just a recently changed thing. The older 'real' Zion's (Ken Hoovers) did not have angled headstocks and the trussrod adjustment is at the heel. I know because I own two of them :) Mine were both made years before the E series came out.

    So don't go by just the angled headstock and trussrod adjustment.
     
  4. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Supporting Member

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    I see where you are coming from, but new Zions are still 'real' Zions. I've had my share of them over the years, too (I think about a dozen Zions). If the guitar had an angled headstock, then that would, at a quick glance, eliminate that guitar being an E series. That was all I was getting at. If BigOrange has any guitars he has questions on, then maybe he could post them here and have some folks help him out.
     
  5. LTE

    LTE Member

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    Hey Ken,

    Zion ever made a bass as part of standard production?
     
  6. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

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    We made a few custom basses in the eighties. Pictured here is a fun piece that actually has a tremelo!

    [​IMG]

    Dale wants to do basses again eventually. Right now, our hands are full building guitars!!
     
  7. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    Remember this one Ken?? august of 96[​IMG]
     
  8. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Hi Ken,
    I just found this thread and it's good to see you guys are still building fine quality instruments.
    I have Zion Turbo I purchased at AL&M in Raleigh in the mid 80's. Like GPN
    it was my first new Electric guitar paid for with gig money. It has seen a lot of gigs and has it's share of road rash, but this one still feels like home to me. Mine Is exactly like the red one on page 4 of this thread (Guitardude5)
    except it sported a Ebony finger board with SSH config of the pickups,standard 5way switch and 3 knurled control knobs. It's held up extremely well and been a pleasure to own so thanks for making such a great guitar.
    Could you tell me:
    How long were the turbo's in production?
    What are these stock pups?
    How do I date this one? no # on mine
    As you can see I didn't ask allot questions when I was young but I knew that was the best guitar in the store on that day.I played them all.:D
    Thanks, Mark
     
  9. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Supporting Member

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    Sharkey, my Turbo had a serial number in the neck pocket. Have you checked in the neck pocket on yours for any numbers? Do you have a picture you could post?

    Bo, that honey burst quilt is gorgeous!

    Jonathan
     
  10. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

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    <Could you tell me:
    How long were the turbo's in production? THROUGH OUT THE 80's.
    What are these stock pups? PROBABLY. EMAIL ME A MACRO PICTURE OF THE BACKS TO KHOOVER1@triad.rr.com
    How do I date this one? no # on mine> MY COMPUTERIZED DATING RECORDS DON'T START UNTIL THE 90's. THE NUMBER IN THE NECK POCKET WAS A PRODUCTION NUMBER, NOT A SERIAL NUMBER. I COULD ONLY GUESS. IT WAS PROBABLY MADE A FEW MONTHS BEFORE YOU BOUGHT IT. SEND ME A FULL LENGTH PICTURE.


    BO, I CONCUR WITH "GUITARDUDE", NICE LOOKING GUITAR!
    NICE TOPS ALWAYS LOOK GOOD!
     
  11. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Thanks Guitardude,
    I haven't had the neck off in years but I shall investegate. I will try and post some pics first chance I get.
     
  12. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

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    Let me clarify. The neck design change was my idea and is at least 7 years old. See http://www.zionguitars.com/downloads/new_neck_design.gif for details.

    While I appreciate the indirect compliment that "The older 'real' Zion's (Ken Hoovers)" were better, let me say that Dale Brown is more "fussy" than me http://www.musicianshotline.com/archive/interviews/zion.htm and the Zions' he has made since November 2000 are better than ever!
    He has continued the Zion tradition of high quality and even more.

    Let me thank you for your patronage!
     
  13. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Supporting Member

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    Sharkey, glad to see that Zion in your signature now!
     
  14. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    :AOK It's been put away for quiet some time so its easy to forget what all I do have stashed. If the wife sees to many fiddles laying around, well you know where this is leading:D It's still a great guitar im just not in to floyds much anymore.
    After reading this thread last night I broke it out and revisited the big hair days. The wife thought I had company over after hearing the sounds coming from my rec. room:dude

    It's in need of setup but this neck is still one of the most comfortable I have ever touched. I was hoping Ken could fill us in a little on the History
    of the early Turbo's.

     
  15. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Well without going over every guitar I've ever had I'll just say this to you Ken...like I said, after purging everything I had that was not up to snuff, the only 2 that survived were my 2 Ken Hoover Zion's. You should be (and I know you are) proud of these guitars!
     
  16. LTE

    LTE Member

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    Hey Ken,

    Zion ever built an acoustic for kicks and giggles?
     
  17. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

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    Yep, we built a few, but it's like a baker serving steaks, another world entirely.
     
  18. Galo

    Galo Member

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    Here is a Zion Turbo Synth...this guitar dont die!!!
    Great axe.

    Adios[​IMG]
     
  19. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

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  20. LTE

    LTE Member

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    Hey Ken,

    Years ago D'Addario was giving away a special Zion for anyone that turned in 10,000 player points (or something like that). You know of any orders for it were made? You know the specs? I would say this was about 10 years ago.
     
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